* Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker. I rise in opposition to the pending free trade agreements with Columbia, Panama, and Korea we are considering today.
* I do not support these agreements for one simple reason: I remain completely unconvinced that they can create jobs in the short term. Job creation must be our principal objective. That is what nearly everyone in New Jersey tells me is their concern. Given the tough economic times we face and the high rates of unemployment and underemployment, we need to take steps to help create jobs now. In my view these agreements fail that job-creation test. Instead of advancing these steps that might possibly start producing some jobs years from now, we should be passing immediately legislation that creates jobs now, legislation that helps homeowners now, and legislation that helps the middle class now.